Come and rise to #ChangeTheNation

26 Jan 2019

The onus is no longer on Indigenous Australia. We are awake, we are alive, we are still here.

Come and rise to #ChangeTheNation

Please give me a country I am proud of, a country where we can speak truth without being marginalised even more

It’s 2020 and a young person says, “what happened in this country?”

“What should we be proud of?”

“Did you step up with the people or did you step aside in silence?”

“Will you challenge the broken system today for a better tomorrow? A better 10 years and so on from there? What will you be proud of when the broken system continues to break the spirit, heart and strength this country has?”

I cannot help but take my mind back to the old people, back to what my ancestors would have been thinking, feeling, processing. My people are the healers and the protectors. Upon the first moments of invasion they never wanted to inflict harm back, we did not know this concept. We prevailed with the true elements of peace and love, we were willing to share. Indigenous Australia opened our arms and our truths and in return we got guns, bullets, rapes, slavery and our land taken.

On 25 January we rested and healed and on 26 January, we rise with strength and resilience. Too many of our people are in pain, are mourning and dealing with intergenerational trauma and the continued trauma that occurs in our everyday lives. It is evident when I speak with non-Indigenous people that the trauma is carried due to the colonial shame. For some I am seeing a shift, but for the majority I see the difficulty it takes in sharing a truthful conversation of what this country is and that it continues to be built on genocide, dispossession and the implications of assimilation policies that were written in legislation from 1951 to 1962.

This may scare you, this may make you shake, but there is no bigger threat to the system than the black force that prevails in the many different spaces.

We have sacred black children being born every day. Our culture is here, it is still practiced and is still strong. We want to share our culture, but we are denied this basic right when Australia chooses to celebrate a day that is built on genocide, dispossession, rape and murders, with the continued process of harming Indigenous children today.

From eco genocides and clearing our waters of survival to mass incarcerations as a result of the institution and harm of the state such as out of home care, from the highest rate of suicides in the world with only just having five young warriors taking their lives in the first month of 2019, the continued racist policies such as the Northern Territory intervention to recent amendments to child protection laws.

Australia, please give me a country I am proud of, a country where we can heal, speak truth without being marginalised even more and action change where appropriate. It doesn’t happen by celebrating the harm and reason why all these issues exist – colonisation and neo-imperialism – it happens when we abolish the date, decolonise the mind and change the nation.


My people have the right to start the healing process of what white Australia has subjected us to; however, this is becoming far from possible when Australia’s broken system continues to deny Indigenous Australia.

More importantly it becomes obvious when the apparent “leadership” announces spending more funds on celebrating the re-enactment of Cook’s invasion for the 250th anniversary and suspending funds from Aboriginal legal services.

My father would say, when you deny the past, you are denying the present, and from denying the present you are harming the future. The only people denying this truth is the oppressor refusing to spark truth.

If I am sure of one thing, it is that there is resilience and resistance across Indigenous Australia, from the writers, actors, protestors, academics, frontline workers with community to the elders and the healers of our people.

Our resistance is here and will continue to be here until the last sunset. We will remain here, continuing the strength that has been passed down, liberating the next generation.

The onus is no longer on Indigenous Australia. We are awake, we are alive, we are still here.

So tell me, are you the bystander or the person who stood beside?

Come and rise.


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